Ryan Miller, the president and co-founder of Farmers Hen House, oversees the egg grading and distribution facility in Kalona, Iowa.
Farmers Hen House provides organic, free-range, and pasture-raised eggs from small family farms to customers who share our values of humane treatment of animals, sustainability and commitment to the small family farm.
It began in 1997, with the mission to provide local Amish and Mennonite farmers with a sustainable way to get their organic eggs into retail spaces.
Farmers Hen House provides a way for local small family farms to make a sustainable way of life for their families, and, simultaneously, provide a specialty ethical egg to the consumer that was second to none.
Ryan first heard about BELAY in Michael Hyatt’s Business Accelerator program. He wasn’t sure if the timing was right but decided to give it a try as he was not wanting to continue to task out projects to members of his internal team.
“The process was easy,” Ryan remembers. “I got to talk to a business owner who was a client and his VA, did the interview for the matching process, and we were off and running.”
Enter BELAY Virtual Assistant, Adah Brown.
Ryan has used Adah’s assistance with managing his emails and schedule, booking flights and hotels and also various personal tasks.
“I get to spend more time on the things I need to be spending a little more time on,” Ryan says. “Those things would’ve probably gotten done, but maybe not quite as well or as quickly — or I’d just be working more hours.
“There was a high level of trust right away because she had some experience doing this similar thing as a full-time person in a different setting, and so I knew it wasn’t her first go around with handling these kinds of things.”
“Communication has been easy, whether we just need to text or something like that. We had a small building project over the last six months, and that was helpful to have her be able to connect with some people [by] following up [with them] and getting some of that stuff scheduled.”
Farmers Hen House works with about 80 farmers and has 75 employees and customers all over the country.
“Over the years as our team has grown, I’ve delegated more to them, but by [Adah] taking some stuff off my plate, I can work more with my team on-site to grow the business and get stuff done,” Ryan says.
“One thing that's a little bit unique to having a VA instead of let's say an assistant right here on site, is it’s kind of nice to have this person that's completely on the outside of our organization compared to someone who's internal and is in parts of all these things going on. [Our partnership has] been well worth what we're paying.”
And as for what’s next for Ryan and his team — growing the customer base.
“We're trying to gain as many new customers as we can,” Ryan says. “We have a few big customers out there we've been trying to go after for a while, so that's the goal in the next year to two years is to get into a couple more store chains. That's the big thing for us.
“[Adah will be] making it so I have time to work with my sales team to focus on that.